4 critical failures from the Carolina Panthers 2023 season

It was a disaster from start to finish...

Scott Fitterer
Scott Fitterer / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers hired the wrong head coach

David Tepper became almost infatuated with bringing Ben Johnson into the Carolina Panthers. When he spurned the advances of interested parties to remain with the Detroit Lions, it threw a significant wrench into the billionaire's plans.

It was panic stations after that. Tepper had burned bridges with Steve Wilks despite his ability to restore Carolina to the foundations that made it so great. His preference for an offensive mind led the beleaguered owner to Frank Reich - the team's first starting quarterback in franchise history.

Reich came in with a big reputation. He brought in what was perceived to be an all-star coaching staff. He had a renewed purpose to start silencing doubters after being fired in difficult circumstances by the Indianapolis Colts.

Sadly, things unraveled quickly.

The Panthers looked devoid of ideas and inspiration. Reich's message wasn't getting across effectively enough. There was a play-calling back and forth that prevented any offensive continuity. The situation was an unmitigated disaster.

With one win from 11 games, Tepper bit the bullet and fired Reich. It was a huge disappointing turn of events. He's a stand-up guy and respected around the league, but diving straight back into coaching with a meddling owner constantly looking over his shoulder was a step too far.

Tepper is about to embark on his third head coaching search since buying the Panthers and his second in consecutive years. The pressure to get this one right cannot be overstated.